Jan 30, 2009, 3:42 AM
In her Commonwealth Day Message, the Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, underscored the importance of innovations that help build resilient partnerships and better societies. Below we reproduce the full text of the message:
"Today's societies are constantly seeking ways to improve their quality of life, and science and technology play a vital part in that search.
Experimentation, research and innovation, mean that more opportunities for improving people's lives exist today than ever before. Take long distance communication, where the obstacles of time and geography have been dramatically reduced: people can now use mobile phones to be in instant contact virtually anywhere in the world, be it with a medical centre in the Himalayan mountains in Asia, a Pacific island school, a research facility at the South Pole, or even the international space station, beyond this planet altogether.
Advances in modern telecommunications are also having a marked economic effect on people from developing nations in the Commonwealth, helping to transform small to medium-sized businesses. The internet is playing an important part in helping to nurture these fledgling markets but, as yet, it still remains an unaffordable option for too many of our Commonwealth citizens.
Progress in the fields of healthcare, manufacturing, and education have, for the most part, helped improve people's lives throughout the world. In the health sector, the Commonwealth has shown how collaborative schemes can successfully assist member states to fight pandemics and diseases.
In making these advances the Commonwealth recognizes that the best forms of innovation are those that unite, and help build resilient partnerships and better societies as a whole.
This is particularly important for the more than half of the Commonwealth citizens who are under 25 years of age. It is vital that their potential to build on the exceptional scientific expertise that exists in member states is also fully supported through education and social development. The Commonwealth understands this, and should continue to aid and encourage our young people to participate in the exciting new opportunities that lie ahead, in the knowledge that progress is something which must be sustained and shared by all."